Collector’s Corner — Ramsey Ess and His Presidential Figurines

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Here at Krrb Classifieds we love a good collection, especially one that’s unique. From where the collection began to the most significant item, we want to know the story behind it all. So we’re reaching out to collectors everywhere to find out what they collect and why!

Today, Ramsey Ess joins us to discuss his collection of Presidential Figurines, his most valued piece and his love of cartoons.

Hey Ramsey! First off, why did you start collecting Presidential Figurines?

When it was on MTV, I was a big fan of the TV show Clone High, a show about clones of historical figurines going to high school together. Because this show was cancelled quickly there was no merchandising, so the next best thing I could do was find an Abraham Lincoln doll. (I also love American history, so that helped too.)

Do you have a favorite President from your collection?

My favorite is that original Lincoln doll, because not only is it the most intricate, it also talks. It says a lot of the classic phrases such as “four score, blah blah blah” but it also says some INCREDIBLY long quotes, such as the proclamation in which Abraham Lincoln creates Thanksgiving.

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What’s the most rare figurine from your collection?

The Marx company stopped making these figurines during the Nixon administration. However, a man by the name of Patric Verrone sculpted and hand-painted the seven presidents after Nixon. (He also wrote for The Critic, Futurama and a bunch of other shows, so as a comedy writer, that makes them extra special.) The fact that these are handmade, hand-painted, and from a guy who wrote a bunch of stuff I love makes them the most rare and the most significant.

Which figurine is the most valuable?

The first time I ever learned about these figurines was when I found a big box of them at a flea market. Marx made a set that was painted and a set that was unpainted, and I could be wrong, but I believe the unpainted ones are more rare. The first two I purchased were Lincoln and Nixon, and it turns out the Nixon one was made not when he was president, but back when he was Vice President to Eisenhower. That one is a harder one to find.

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What’s the most unique way you acquired a figurine?

These are all pretty boring, Chris. They were mostly eBay. The best I can do is I got the first of the tiny figurines from a thing called “Brooklyn Flea” at a flea market booth, filled with old toys and McDonald’s Happy Meal toys and stuff, and that was where I first encountered these.

Or the ones from Verrone I mentioned: I didn’t realize at first that he was the Futurama Patric Verrone, but then I did and I geeked out to him and told him about my web series.

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Ramsey Ess is a freelance writer for television, podcaster and a guy on Twitter. His webseries Ramsey Has a Time Machine has a very self-explanatory title.

 

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